VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — No matter who wins the U.S. election, Canada can expect continued protectionist measures, according to University of Ottawa political scientist David Moscrop.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden remained six electoral votes shy of the 270 needed to secure the presidency on Thursday, according to projections from the Associated Press, while President Donald Trump pursued legal options, insisting the processing of some ballots should be stopped in states where he is ahead and continued where he is behind.
“I think most people think Biden’s going to win, that Trump’s challenges are going to go nowhere, even though they’re going to be disconcerting and dangerous and irritating for a couple of days,” Moscrop said Thursday on Breakfast Television.
“No doubt Canada’s watching closely, but it isn’t like we were having an easy go of it to begin with. We have some practice with this, four years of Trump, especially the last seven months of the U.S. coronavirus response,” he added.
“I think we’re, broadly speaking, prepared for the sort of low-level trouble that we’re seeing right now. The question will be what happens once the next administration comes in, assuming it’s a Biden administration, which presents some opportunities, but some challenges as well.”
Moscrop said as much as Biden would present a more stable administration than the previous one, he would likely continue some protectionist measures.
“Biden has been on about buying American for some time as part of the rust belt strategy that seems to be paying off, to some extent, perhaps even cinching the presidency for him. So I would imagine you’d see more of that.”
Moscrop also said the winning candidate’s stance on pipelines will affect Canada right away, including the Keystone Pipeline System, which some fear could be cancelled.
“For fans of Keystone XL, I don’t happen to be one of them, but there are lots of them in the country, Biden is deeply opposed to Keystone, while Trump supports it. That’ll be an issue that comes up too for the government, one they’ll probably lose, I would imagine. So that’ll sort of top off the early days of the relationship between the United States and Canada.”
That could have an impact on the Canadian economy, he added.
Moscrop also said he doesn’t blame Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for refusing to weigh in on the outcome of the U.S. election, whereas NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has said repeatedly that Trump has to go.
“It’s much different when you’re the prime minister and you’ve got to have a relationship with a potential Trump administration, but also will also have to maintain a relationship if Trump loses between November and the inauguration in January, so I get it.”